Vader Down picks up where Star Wars and Darth Vader 12 left off. Both comics, Star Wars and Darth Vader, tell one story in a cross over event.
Luke has been guided to the planet Vrogas Vas by some information he received from reading Obi-Wan’s bio he discovered in Star Wars #7. Doctor Alphra learns about Luke’s travels and informs Vader who quickly travels to Vrogas Vas to apprehend the boy. Of course, it’s all a setup and wonder if our heroes, and villain, will ever escape? (Not really since this takes place before Empire!).
The title comes from the fact that Vader is shot down, alone and defenseless, on Vagros Vas. Well, we know, and the rebels should know, that a Dark Lord of the Sith is never defenseless. Much of the action focuses on the rebels attempts to destroy Vader and Vader’s accomplises extracting Luke. We get to see Vader in all his Sith glory and he doesn’t disappoint. We see Leia have to decide what is more important: ending Vader or saving her friends. Plus Triple Zero and Beetie get to murder lots of people on both sides.
Of course, Jason Aaron writes the Star Wars titles ( #13 & #14) while Kieron Gillen steers Vaders #13 and #14 and the one off Vader Down that starts off the series. You can tell they have fun setting each other up with plot points for the other one to continue. They write some great action scenes. Salvador Larroca draws Vader and the droids well, while sometimes he seems to have trouble with humans especially ones that are based on people we know (Leia especially). Mike Deodato handles the drawing on the Star Wars titles well especially with the fight scenes between Wookies.
Focusing on our main characters serves this plot well. It makes for a great tale of adventure and may be the best book yet of the Star Wars collections.